Palak Paneer

I really enjoyed teaching how to make this dish during yesterday’s LIVE cookery class. It’s such an easy, quick “throw together recipe” which is perfect for a weeknight meal or as part of a more elaborate spread.

As it’s a dry dish, it also works incredibly well as a filling in a wrap or even in a pitta bread! Palak paneer pitta pockets anyone?

I received an amazing response from those who cooked along with me during the live class. If you missed it but want to watch, you can view it right here. Let me know how it goes and don’t forget to share a photo of your recreation on Insta, Twitter or Facebook.

Oh and FYI, I will now be doing live classes every other Friday so my next live cook-along will be on 29th May. I am working on an exciting project in the mean time and am excited to share the details very soon.

Happy cooking y’all.

Palak Paneer

Ingredients
  

To toast paneer

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 225 g paneer cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt

To make the palak paneer

  • 3-4 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp butter/ghee optional
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic very finely chopped
  • 2cm ginger very finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato finely diced
  • 3 tbsp tomato pasata
  • 1 tsp salt or according to taste
  • 3/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 300 g fresh spinach washed, dried & finely chopped/shredded
  • 1-2 green chillies finely chopped

For optional garlic tempering

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 clove garlic cut into paper thin slices
  • 3 good pinches dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) optional

Instructions
 

  • To toast the paneer, heat oil in a pan (ideally non stick) on a low/medium heat setting. Once hot add the paneer, cumin seeds and a pinch of salt. Allow the paneer to cook for 10-15 seconds until it is light golden in colour. Then turn over each piece and cook on the other side. (You want just a light golden skin on each piece). Remove from pan and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, heat up oil and butter/ghee. Once hot, add the nigella seeds, garlic & ginger. Keep mixing continuously on a medium heat until light golden in colour. (It won't take long – do not allow it to brown too much as it will burn and become bitter).
  • Now add the chopped tomato and pasata and cook for 2 minutes on a medium heat whilst mixing. Then add the salt and remaining spices.
  • Once you see the oil begin to release at the edge of the tomato paste, add the toastetoasted paneer pieces and green chilli and mix. Now begin to add the spinach a couple of handfuls at a time, mixing as you do it.
  • Once all the spinach is in the pan and has started to wilt, reduce to a low/medium heat and place a lid on top. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring halfway through. The spinach will start to release its water. Keep cooking until all water has evaporated and you have a dry dish where the palak and paneer pieces are both well combined. Taste for salt/chilli and adjust accordingly.
  • For the tempering, heat oil in a small pan. Then add the garlic slivers and dried fenugreek. Keep stirring and as soon as you see the garlic take on a light golden colour, turn off the heat. Drizzle over the paneer palak and serve with your favourite Indian breads.

Bombay Masala Sandwich

I decided to transport my students to the roadsides of Mumbai for this week’s LIVE Spice Club “isolation cookery class“. There are so many mouth watering Indian street food dishes and it’s hard to pick a favourite but this definitely ranks in the “top 10” shortlist.

Crunchy, spicy, cheesy, crispy – it’s got it all! It’s also a sandwich that yields 3 recipes in one.

1) The coriander & chilli chutney – this makes for a delicious dipping sauce with any of your favourite snacks.

2) The spicy poatato filling – you can use this as a stuffing for samosas, puff pastry snacks, parathas – whatever your heart desires!

3) Obviously when you put everything together, you get the Bombay sandwich in all it’s glory!

If you missed the live cookery class but want to catch up and watch, you can do so by clicking here. I will not be hosting a live class next Friday, but worry not, I will be back on Friday 15th May at 4pm. Until then, if you have any dish suggestions for the next live class, let me know. Also stay connected on my  Instagram or Facebook pages!

Bombay Masala Sandwich

Servings 2 sandwiches

Equipment

  • A blender such as a nutribullet or blend tech to make a smooth chutney
  • 2 x Frying pans, ideally non stick (or 1 x non stick crepe pan & 1 frying pan)

Ingredients
  

For the coriander chutney:

  • 1 bunch fresh coriander 40g or so
  • 20 mint leaves optional
  • 4 chillies or to taste
  • 1 apple granny smith is ideal
  • 1 small onion peeled
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 1/4 tsp Salt or according to taste
  • 4 tbsp desicated coconut optional
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) plus 2tbsp Water

For the sandwich:

  • 4 slices white bread you can also use brown
  • Butter left out at room temp so spreadable
  • 100 g cheese grated (I like to use a mix of cheddar & mozzarella)
  • 1 red onion cut into thinly sliced rounds
  • 1 tomato cut into thinly sliced rounds (optional)
  • Chaat Masala optional

For the spicy potatoes:

  • 400 g potatoes, cooked, peeled & mashed with a fork (You can boil. I cook mine in the microwave . To do this wash potatoes and place in a small clean plastic bag. Tie up and pierce a hole in it then cook on high for 8-10 minutes or until cooked).
  • Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 3 tbsp Fresh coriander roughly choped
  • 1 clove garlic optional
  • 1 cm ginger grated (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt or according to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli powder or flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Mango Powder (amchur) or 1/2 tsp Lime

Instructions
 

  • To make the chutney, add all of the “chutney ingredients” to a blender and blitz into a smooth sauce. Empty into a bowl and keep aside.
  • Now mash the potatoes and spread them on a plate. Sprinkle over the salt, turmeric, chilli powder & mango powder and mix well. Now heat 2tbsp of oil in a non stick pan. When hot, add the mustard seeds. When they sizzle and pop, add the coriander, ginger & garlic. Mix and cook for a a minute, then add the potatoes. Cook on a low heat for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and transfer to a plate and allow to cool.
  • To assemble the sandwich, butter one side of both slices of bread. Flip over. Now spread the mint chutney on the other side of both pieces.
  • Spread the spiced potato mixture on one slice (chutney side up). Add half the amount of cheese and a sprinkle of chaat masala all over. Now top with onion slices, tomato slices, the remaining cheese and another sprinkle of chaat masala.
  • Place the second piece of bread on top (butter side up). Heat a frying pan greased with a little oil/butter. Once hot, place the sandwich onto the pan and fry on a low heat for 4 minutes. You can add a weight on top (like another frying pan) to help cook and crisp. Flip and repeat on the other side for a further 4 minutes until golden and crispy all over. Enjoy!

Chilli Cheese Parathas

Week two of my Facebook LIVE COOKERY CLASSES brought Chilli Cheese Parathas to the kitchen! Once you’ve been introduced to the deliciousness that is stuffed parathas, there is no turning back.

Chilli and cheese is such a great combination but you can stuff your parathas with whatever you like! Gobi Parathas (spiced cauliflower) are the paratha of choice in my home. Oh and Cheeni Parathas, which are stuffed with ghee and sugar. Honestly, you are winning whatever you choose. You can also use the dough to make plain chapatis or parathas which make the perfect accompaniment to your favourite curry or simply with a fried egg on top.

Have a go and let me know how they turn out for you! If you missed the live cookery class but want to catch up and watch, you can do so by clicking here. Also, if you have any dish suggestions for next week’s class, comment below or drop me a message on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!

Chilli Cheese Parathas

Servings 4 parathas

Ingredients
  

For the dough:

  • 1 cup (130g) chapati flour you can also use plain flour
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup + 1 to 2 tbsp warm water (this is a rough guide, you may need more or water depending on your flour type)
  • Oil for kneading

For the stuffing:

  • 150 g grated cheese I like to mix 1/2 cheddar & 1/2 mozzarella for flavour & texture but you can you use what you like!
  • 1/2 medium onion finely diced (I like to use red, you can you whatever you have)
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped or you can use chilli flakes/chilli powder
  • Handful fresh coriander finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Carom/ajwain seeds optional
  • 3/4 tsp Salt or acc to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper

You will also need:

  • A non stick chapati tava pan/crepe pan/ non stick frying pan
  • A rolling Pin
  • A bowl with some chapati/plain flour in it for dusting

Instructions
 

  • Place the flour in a mixing bowl. Add the yoghurt and rub in really well using your finger tips until it is completely mixed in. Then, add the water little by little. Use your hand to combine the flour and water to make a dough. You are looking for the dough to be soft and tacky but not overly wet. 
  • Now, very lightly grease your hand and begin to knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until you have a smooth and pliable dough. Cover with cling film/damp tea towel and leave aside for 10-15 minutes.
  • In a bowl, mix together the stuffing ingredients. Keep aside. 
  • Now heat a tava/non-stick frying/crepe pan on high heat. Once the pan is hot, reduce to a low heat whilst you prepare the parathas.
  • Divide your dough into 4 equal dough balls. Roll each one so they are smooth and round. 
  • Dip one dough ball into the bowl of dry flour and with a rolling pin, begin to roll out until the size of a starter plate, forming a chapati
  • Divide your cheese stuffing into 4 portions. Place one portion of the stuffing in the centre of the chapati and bring together all of the edges so that they meet in the middle. Press down so it is sealed.
  • Dip the sealed stuffed dough ball in the flour and shake off any excess. Place on your work surface and roll out gently until it is 7-8โ€ณ in diameter and even in thickness all the way around.
  • Increase the heat of your pan to the maximum setting. Carefully pick up the paratha, web your fingers and flip the paratha from hand to hand to get rid of any excess flour.
  • Place it on the hot pan. When it changes colour and small bubbles begin to appear turn it over and cook the other side.
  • Cook until paratha is golden, then flip and cook until golden and all over and crispy. Finish by smearing a teaspoon of ghee or butter. โ€ข Make the rest of the parathas using the same process. Keep them wrapped in a towel or foil until ready to serve.